the best ad i’ve seen in a long time

This is on display at Metro Center. I saw it last night as I made my way to Chinatown to have dinner at La Tasca with my friend Nancy. The small print you may not be able to read says, “It’s no joke. Trial lawyers are suing restaurants and food companies because their clients eat too much.” It’s part of a campaign I’ve seen around town from The Center for Consumer Freedom. Ah, trial lawyers. Thank you for saving us from ourselves at our own expense for years. I don’t know how we’d survive without you.

Consumer freedom? There’s a thought. It’s kind of how I feel about smoking bans. I mean, I like not reeking like a pack of Benson and Hedges, but I’m also down with that business owner deciding for himself if he wants smoking in the place. Oh, and I don’t need you protecting me from Oreos. I know they’re bad for me. And although I don’t eat it often, I sure do enjoy McDonald’s. When my liver fails and I have to be wheeled out of my house on a forklift, it’ll suck, but I’ll have nobody to blame but me.


13 Responses to “the best ad i’ve seen in a long time”

  1. September 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Unfortunately, the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom doesn’t care about consumers or freedom. The people there only care about the money they receive for defending unethical practices by various industries.

  2. 2 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    What about not being able to sue people for making your own decision to stuff your face with food you KNOW is bad for you unethical?

  3. September 9, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    It’s a pretty easy issue to illustrate with a poster, and certainly more likely to inspire outrage than “Fred, does this cigarette make me look cancerous?”


  4. 4 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I love you, TW, you know that … but nobody forces you to smoke. You know, with certainty, what you’re getting into when you smoke. You know there are serious risks associated with you and you are not immune from those risks. You’re equal opportunity to get cancer from smoking as much as the next guy.

    This coming from a girl who watches someone — on his own, free will — smoke nearly a pack of cigarettes a day. Do I like that he’s a walking risk factory? No. Do I worry that something may cause him to get diagnosed with lung cancer and drop dead? Yes. Do I have the right to sue someone for it? No.

    And I know about secondhand — I breathe it in. But I choose to breathe it in by living with a smoker.

    … I can’t help it. He’s cute.

  5. September 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    GoDub, I love that you chose to preface a potential difference of opinions with an expression of love; it was like breaking it to me gently 🙂

    But you’re right about the smoking, of course. People have known for decades about the cancer risks, so I’m not sure why anyone should still be winning some lawsuits about that. As a matter of fact, I agreed with pretty much everything you said. But I thought that Tracey had a good point too, in that maybe obesity lawsuits are this organization’s rain-maker, since it’s an easy issue to get people riled up about. And maybe that’s the issue they highlight because the rest of their agenda (or sponsors) might not be so palatable. Do you know anything more about this group that would refute her statement? I could quote Robert Duvall from that movie “The Paper”: “Do your job! Just don’t say you disagree with her!”

    All said with love, of course 🙂


  6. 6 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    They’re a nonprofit 501(c)(3) group … their main thrust, really, is that you, as a consumer, know what’s best for you. That’s fine and well. The people who tend to have the most problems with them are PETA and the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Usually, what really jacks people about the Center for Consumer Freedom is they take issue with PETA’s staunch problem with testing on animals. The ads that get PETA riled up are ones that have a picture of a lab rat and a sick child and the ad reads something like, “A lab rat or your child?” People also tend to frown upon CCF’s claims that organic food is mostly bullshit and the like.

    Over the top? Sure, a little. But that’s the thing with these groups — You may think that promoting consumer freedom and personal choice and responsibility is over the top, but someone else may think that PETA thinking an earthworm having the same rights as a human being is over the top.

    Naturally, people may take issue with this part on the “about us” section of their site:

    “Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors. They are reasonably apprehensive about privacy and safety in light of the violence and other forms of aggression some activists have adopted as a “game plan” to impose their views, so we respect their wishes.”

    I don’t have a problem with it. Especially as someone who lived in a city where environmentalists destroyed parts of a housing subdivision and SUVs at a car dealership. I’m also willing to bet that there are a blue million other groups who ask for the same consideration.

    So, back to the issue at hand … The fundamental purpose of this group is to promote, and enforce, your rights as a consumer to choose how you live, accepting that those choices come with responsibilities. As a card-carrying Libertarian, that’s my deal. Personal responsibility. Now, am I intelligent enough to know clever marketing? Sure. Hippos are clever.

    But I’m not sure you could show me some kind of evidence that they don’t have the consumer’s best interest at heart or they’re unethical because, again, it’s about personal responsibility. YOUR choices and their effects, no matter who tells you what.

    … and I’m hurt you’d compare me to Alicia! I’m far more Henry.

  7. 7 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    And as a followup, it’s HIGHLY unlikely Tracy will come back to provide examples. I’ve found that in a lot of cases, people like that are hit-and-run. I hope I’m wrong, though.

  8. September 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I thought that remark *was* aimed at Henry because he disagreed with Alicia but didn’t have anything to back up his gut feeling (But how did I *know* that you love that movie, Ms. NY tabloid fan? :))

    At any rate, you showed me, didn’t you? I don’t know that the CCF knows that much about themselves 🙂 Okay, let’s dump that Palin lovefest we were gonna go with and run this on the front page instead…

    PETA are the terrorists of the animal-lovers community, so it’s easy to choose consumer rights over them. I feel misled by that Tracy person; rock on, GoDub, have that next Oreo, and if you need a forklift later on in life, I’ll be sure to drive one over for ya. Assuming I can fit in the cab, of course.

  9. 9 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Ah, if I want a Palin lovefest … I can just go home. 🙂

  10. September 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    What a non-fascist thing for you to say. Is there a Greenpeace membership in your future? 🙂


  11. 11 girlofwords
    September 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Hahaha … No. I just live with Sarah Palin’s No. 1 fan. 🙂

  12. September 9, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    He’s just hoping that if McCain wins, she’ll dust off one of her Miss Alaska bikinis 🙂

    TW (who’s hoping for an inaugration where Stevie Wonder gets a gig)

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